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Alaska opens 2018 with win over Meralco

Calvin Abueva made 19 points on only 10 shots. PBA Media Bureau
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—Alaska ended 2017 with four consecutive losses.

But as a new year rings in, the team notched a win.

The Aces began 2018 with a 103-98 victory over the Meralco Bolts at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night.

Alaska went on an 18-3 run late in the first quarter to open a double-digit lead that would be stretched to as high as 14, 53-39, at halftime.

Meralco, still put up a fight in the second half, even coming to as close as three points, but back-to-back triples from Kevin Racal helped doused the late run.

Calvin Abueva and Vic Manuel each chipped in 19 points to lead the Aces, who only committed 10 turnovers as a unit with 22 assists.

After leading Alaska in its first two games of the season, Jeron Teng had a quiet outing, only making eight points, one carom, and three dimes.

Davon Potts finally made his PBA debut and contributed four markers and one board.

Chris Newsome led the Bolts, who have now lost two straight, with 23 points, six rebounds, and four assists.

KG Canaleta added 16 points, but none was more special than his last basket which put him to the 5,000 Points Club.

Box Scores:

Alaska 103-Abueva 19, Manuel 19, Banchero 13, Teng 8, Casio 8, Racal 8, J. Pascual 7, Enciso 7, Thoss 5, Potts 4, Exciminiano 3, Cruz 2

Meralco 98-Newsome 23, Canaleta 16, Amer 15, Bono 9, Dillinger 8, Hugnatan 8, Baracael 6, Caram 6, Lanete 5, Ballesteros 2, Tolomia 0

Quarterscores: 26-16, 53-39, 78-71, 103-98